Fuel Cell Technologies Manufacturing Research and Development

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Photo of a fuel cell manufacturing webline

Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) supports manufacturing research and development (R&D) activities to improve processes and reduce the cost of components and systems for hydrogen production, delivery, and storage over the range of fuel cell application areas, including stationary, portable, and transportation.

Why Study Manufacturing?

Increasing production of today's hydrogen and fuel cell components and systems from laboratory-scale fabrication technologies to high-volume products can have significant challenges. FCTO addresses the challenge of moving today’s technologies from the laboratory to high-volume, pre-commercial manufacturing and works to drive down the cost of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.

Research investments are made to reduce the cost of components currently used or planned for use, as well as overall processing times. Progress toward targets is measured in terms of reducing the cost to produce fuel cells, increasing manufacturing processing rates, and growing manufacturing capacity.

Research and Development Goals

FCTO funds R&D projects to enable development of manufacturing technologies and processes of hydrogen and fuel cell components in parallel with technology development while fostering a strong domestic supplier base. The specific manufacturing R&D goals are to:

  • Develop manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost of automotive fuel cell stacks at high volume (500,000 units per year) from the 2008 value of $38/kW to $20/kW by 2020.
  • Develop fabrication and assembly processes to produce compressed hydrogen pressure vessels to enable a total onboard storage system cost of $10/kWh by 2020, with an ultimate target of $8/kWh.
  • Support efforts to reduce the cost of manufacturing components and systems to produce and deliver hydrogen at <$4/gge (2007 dollars) (untaxed, delivered, and dispensed) by 2020.

Additional information about current manufacturing R&D activities can be found in the Manufacturing R&D section of the FCTO's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan and through other related links.

Development Assistance Opportunity for Roll-to-Roll Advanced Energy Materials Manufacturing

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced a call for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between national laboratories and industrial partners to address roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing challenges that will allow rapid transfer of manufacturing and processing technologies from the lab to the plant floor, resulting in less costly and more energy efficient products entering the marketplace. A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory consortium composed of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was formed to enhance battery and fuel cell electrode performance, processing of water, and R2R manufacturing technologies using an advanced materials manufacturing approach. This consortium is now accepting proposals for CRADAs. View more information about the solicitation. Proposal and technical inquiries should be directed to R2RAMM@ornl.gov.

EERE Activities

Multiple initiatives within EERE strategically focus EERE's clean energy technology offices around the urgent competitive opportunity for the United States to be the leader in the clean energy manufacturing industries and jobs of today and tomorrow.

Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO)

AMO partners with industry, small business, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States.

Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDF)

MDFs are collaborative manufacturing communities that share a common R&D infrastructure. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to AMO’s first MDF focused on additive manufacturing and low-cost carbon fiber.

Federal Activities

Advanced Manufacturing Portal

This site is a “one-stop-shop” for news and information on advanced manufacturing programs and related activities underway in federal agencies with science and technology missions.

Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office

The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office coordinates federal resources and programs to enhance technology transfer in U.S. manufacturing industries and help companies overcome technical obstacles to scaling up production of new technologies.

Manufacturing USA

Manufacturing USA, previously known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, brings together industry, academia and federal partners within a growing network of advanced manufacturing institutes to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.